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Riding the lightning bolt.

James Ford is a 28 year old resident of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He is the son of Dennis and Diane Rimmer of Radisson, Saskatchewan and he is currently undergoing treatment at a Saskatoon hospital for a number of mental health problems that include anxiety, bi-polar disorder and depression.

He has elected to accept electro-convulsive-therapy as part of his get-well plan. (see video )

He describes his feelings leading up to, and following, his first e.c.t. experience.

Here are his words: --- I feel (at the moment) slightly less depressed than I did yesterday, but somewhat more anxious. I’m unsuccessfully lying to myself about the source of my anxiety. I insist that I’m very worried that the ECT is just some background thing that exists but doesn’t matter at all. Factually, I’m full of shit, and worried as hell. I try not to engage in the practice of wishing my life away, but if I could skip ahead to tomorrow afternoon, that would be just lovely.

My return to work date is tentatively scheduled for June 1st. I’m worried about this also. I work in a nursing home for the elderly, and the longer I’m away from work, the more residents will have passed, and been replaced by new residents whose histories, behaviours, and personalities I’ll be unfamiliar with. Returning after an extended absence is tantamount to starting a brand new job, minus already knowing where the staff washroom is located.

I also worry about the reactions of my co-workers upon my return. If you return to work after a battle with cancer, or a serious injury, you’re heroic. If you return to work after a stint in the psych ward, I don’t know what the hell you are. I hope the blog will help to sort that out. At lease everyone will know what’s going on, and the rumour mill won’t be turning.

Daylight is soaking through the broken horizontal blinds that cover my window. I haven’t slept, and am an exhausting combination of tired, nauseous, and worried.
It’s 0544 now, and in a little less than an hour, they’ll take my vitals, and move me downstairs to the ECT suite to do the deed. Mom and Michelle will both be there waiting for me.
I’m not scared, just impatient. I want this hospitalization over, and I want to resume my life. I’m told the first treatment is the worst. Let’s just get ‘er done.

That was the lead-in to the first session. Here is the aftermath:

Parts of my body are hurting that have literally never hurt before. I have a bizarre hybrid jaw/skull/neck ache, I earlier tried to eat my milk with a fork, but I’m alive.
I spent a minute and twenty-seven seconds this morning having an electrically-induced seizure in my first electroconvulsive therapy treatment.
This post will be short as my brain is still chugging along in first gear. I just wanted to let all of you know I made it.

Many thanks for all the well-wishes, and kudos to Mom and Michelle for dragging their asses out of bed to be with me.

If you feel like visiting good old Jae Ford, I'm feeling pretty good right now, and should be feeling decent this evening. That, and I'm a bit lonely.

James Ford has additional e.c.t. sessions slated for May 5th, 8th, 12th and 14th, with a continuation into June.

Thank you for your interest. The updates will continue as time permits.

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